I’ve enjoyed sharing my teaching philosophy. Today is the sixth and final component of my philosophy. Ongoing reflection and assessment ties all the components together. Reflections and assessments range from formal, such as course or tenure evaluations, to informal, such as sticky notes I write to note changes.
Not only do I make modifications during an actual class session, I am continually thinking about what happened during class. What did the students understand? What questions did they ask? How could I improve or change the content? Are the textbooks still relevant and up-to-date?
Grading rubrics are revised. Student Learning Outcomes for each course are regularly assessed by the Child Development professors. Changes are made based on results. Assignments, projects, lab manuals, quizzes, etc. that work well remain, while others are modified or replaced.
Students feel empowered when I frequently ask them for ideas. A favorite way of obtaining students’ input is asking them to write an advice letter to next semesters’ students. These letters provide the most honest and straight forward thoughts about my teaching and what students like, dislike, and learn. The course’s advice letters are summarized and distributed to next semester’s students.
It doesn’t seem like that many years ago I began forming my teaching philosophy. Although I’ve kept abreast of the educational pendulum of change, my philosophy remains consistent. I’m grateful that I’ve been privileged to invest in new generations of educators.